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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: The new common-as-muck hybrid

Plug-in SUV that takes i-MiEV tech into the mainstream

Wrong distance information


Powerflow graphic shows you what motive force is going where and when. Screen could be easier to access, though

I found the manufacturer-predicted maximum EV range of 32.5 miles to be a little optimistic. I never made it much past the 25 mark, even when I wasn't driving at all vigorously. On one notable occasion the system reckoned I had 12 miles of electric-only range but 8 miles later I had none.

The battery can be recharged using either an AC supply up to 16amps or a CHAdeMO DC fast charger. Using a 13amp domestic socket you can charge up in about 5 hours, using a fast charger an 80% top-up takes about half an hour.

I did most of my charging in the public GMEV bays springing up around Manchester, which topped the Outlander up in well under four hours. It’s a shame the Outlander won’t take a 32amp AC feed though, as it would cut that time dramatically.


The Outlander can take a DC fastcharge or AC charge up to 16amps

This being 2015, there’s also an Outlander app (Android and iOS only). It’s a multi-function affair that can use to remotely control the climate system, and view the current charge level and time left to charge. You can also set when you want the Outlander PHEV to charge itself. Car-makers don’t let us hacks mess with such things over the course of the week we have the cars. Too much of a faff.

You could probably enhance the EV range by judicious use of the flappy-paddles behind the steering wheel. These are not to change the gears – the Outlander PHEV doesn’t have any in the conventional sense, just a single-speed reduction gear for each axle – but to enhance the aggression of the regenerative braking though five levels.

One is normal, five really throws the anchors out when you take your foot of the throttle.


Salford Civic Centre is just one of the places you can now charge your EV in Manchester

I’m not sure how much use the majority of Outlander PHEV owners will give those paddles. Very little I suspect. That’s a shame because if you spend some time getting used to them they don’t half help you hustle the Outlander along twisty roads without having to touch the brake pedal.

And hustle you can. For an SUV with a kerb weight of 1,810Kg the Outlander moves and handles with an impressive degree of assurance. Thanks to an abundance of torque (the front electric motor generates 137Nm, the rear 195Nm while the engine adds another 190Nm at 4,500rpm) it always feels fasters than the 0-62 time of 11 seconds suggests.

Top speed is limited to 106mph, but in a vehicle of this class that’s close to irrelevant.


From the side it's just another SUV. All the interesting bits are underneath

Handling is tidy and predictable with no more body roll than you’d realistically expect from something this tall, with suspension that’s been set up with comfort and ground clearance taking precedence over outright cornering ability. It’s much like driving a Honda CR-V or a Hyundai Santa Fe.

Next page: EV rider

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